Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Internet Explorer 7 compatibility

I’ve already been told that this site looks a bit skew-whiff in IE7, and now that I’ve installed IE7 myself I can see what the problem is.

The good news is that it’s somewhat easily fixed without breaking compatibility with Firefox, Opera and Safari. The bad news is that the fix breaks compatibility with IE6. I’m therefore going to split the stylesheets and have a IE6-compatible stylesheet and an everything else primary stylesheet. This won’t happen straightaway but will be brought in eventually.

As for IE7 itself I have to say I’m somewhat impressed. It’s not going to replace Firefox as my default web browser but there’s some nice stuff in it and the Mozilla developers could do well to imitate some of its new features. I’ll do a longer review soon.

Update: In fact, I may not need to make any changes at all. Should this bug be fixed the pages should display fine with the stylesheet remaining as it is. Furthermore, IE7 users will see the page in exactly the same way that Firefox, Safari and Opera users see it – IE6 currently displays it a bit differently.


  1. Yea, I would agree with you there. IE7 has a very interesting look. It’s RSS aggregator is actually nice. Much nicer than Firefox’s.
    However, there are a lot of features of IE7 that look very familiar. MS really loves taking ideas from other software and using it themselves.
    Personally, I see this as a kick in the pants of Firefox to do an even better job of RSS and other aspects.
    Don’t know if I’m going to be able to get used to the “menu-less” Vista GUI. It’s a bit weird. On the other hand, it’s really nothing all that new and menus do exist, they are just in the toolbars now.

  2. I agree that MS have done well with regards to their RSS/feed implementation, and I also like the page zoom feature that they’ve copied from Opera too.

  3. Is it just me or has this entry appeared twice on your index?
    I was trying to set IE7 set up in VMware last night, but the installer crashed on me, then I ran out of time. I’m going to try it again tonight and hopefully I’ll have more luck.

  4. Um, yeah. The entry got created twice by the looks of things. I’ve deleted the duplicate.

  5. Internet Explorer 7 has some features Mozilla developers could do well to imitate…
    How about a lightweight browser, which is extensible via extensions to make it customisable to the individual, while not adding bloat… I’m sure there are already extensions out which IE7 is imitating…

  6. I got Beta 2 running last night…
    One feature I automatically thought was rather good was the built-in RSS/Atom reader, which makes feeds “pretty” if you browse to them directly.
    A bit like the FeedView extension for Firefox, but a lot better. I didn’t like the fact it ignored the stylesheet I have in mine to hide all entries from the browser and only display a warning that it should be viewed in a proper reader – although this will become less necessary as IE7 includes a built in reader, and Firefox will do so with 2.0.
    I’m going to miss the menubar, it’s been a stable feature of almost every OS since GUIs were invented. It’s like a good friend.
    I’m also not sure if I like the new button layout, I’ve always modified Firefox to use the same order as IE.

  7. Quack, you do realize that the “toolbar” pretty much acts like a menubar right? Open one, and them move to another, it closes the first popup menu and opens the other popup menu.
    Also, you can get the older menubar back. Mind you, it’s appears under the address bar and doesn’t appear to be moveable, but it is still there. You can turn it on from the Tools menu… er, toolbar menu.

  8. yes you are right. but i experienced that conflict in width while changing the text size in larger.

  9. I have BT Broadband and I have installed IE7. The result is that every time the PC is switched on an error message which is a SmartBridge Alert referring to being unable to fine psapi.dll appears. Also the BT Broadband Desktop Help is full of script errors. The official answer from BT is Uninstall IE7 and go back to IE6

  10. I had exactly the same response from BT as John Woods.
    I find it hard to believe that BT is not prepared for IE7 as it has been on the stocks for some time. They tell me that they are working night and day to fix it so I am waiting in anticipation. I have no intention of going back to IE6.
    I also have problems with BroadbandTalk, but have not yet determined if that is aso related to IE7.

  11. To work around this error:
    Navigate to the installation location for SmartBridge C:\Program Files\BT Broadband Desktop Help\SmartBridge
    Find PSAPI.DLL and rename it to something like PSAPIOLD.DLL
    Reboot the system
    The program will find the new PSAPI.DLL in the \Windows\System32 directory and function normally

  12. Hi,
    I have had exactly the same problem, but as well as the PSAPI.DLL problem I also found that on opening IE7 it hung. Evesham gave me the same advice Restore.
    I use NTL and not BT, is their an equivalent for my broadband as well. Incidentally Outlook Express was working ok.
    Hoping someone can advise on this error,

  13. BT seem to have fixed it now. I uninstalled “BT Broadband Help” and then downloaded again and re-installed. At the end of the installation process it automaticaaly logged on to BT and downloaded some upgrade files. Now everything works perfectly with IE7. Just a pity that Bt did not answer my e-mails and advise anything to their customers.

  14. Hi,
    My problem is in theory different because I use NTL, I noticed that I have several PSAPI.DLL s on my PC, one is in SMARTBRIDGE in the NTL boadband folder, Anybody know if I can change this to “old” and solve the problem? Trouble is will I have problems with the others in Viavoice etc.